Legatus is essential to the New Evangelization
In 2012, Archbishop Jose Gómez of Los Angeles became Legatus’ second ecclesiastical advisor, succeeding Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. Archbishop Gómez, a priest of Opus Dei, became LA’s fifth archbishop in 2011 and is the city’s first Hispanic archbishop. In September, he will be one of four delegates representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the Vatican’s Synod on the Family. The former auxiliary bishop in Denver and archbishop of San Antonio is a longtime Legatus supporter who has helped foster the growth of local chapters. He spoke with editorial assistant Brian Fraga on Legatus’ role in the New Evangelization and his hopes for the synod.
How has your experience been as Legatus’ ecclesiastical advisor?
It’s been wonderful for me because I have met many members of Legatus across the country, and it’s wonderful to see so many good committed Catholics who try to learn more about their faith and share the message of joy.
When did you first become acquainted with Legatus?
Probably since the beginning. I first met some members of Legatus when I was still in Houston, Texas, probably in the late 1990s. When I was appointed an auxiliary bishop in Denver, I was very happy to have met Legatus members. They welcomed me in and I participated in meetings.
We have many chapters here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I am very happy to participate in their meetings. We just started a new chapter in Santa Barbara.
What is it about Legatus that drew your interest?
Sometimes it’s a challenge to put together your faith and work in your life as a businessperson. I think Legatus provides people with that connection between faith and business.
For me I think it’s important because I understand the importance of the sanctification of work, looking for God in your daily life. We occupy most of our time at work, so I think that Legatus is a good support for people in the business world.
What are your hopes for the synod? What will you say in your address to the synod?
It’s a blessing that Pope Francis decided to have a family focus as the theme of the synod because there are a lot of good things happening in marriage and the family. But the truth is also that marriage is in some kind of a crisis, just looking at the statistics and also the challenges young couples have — and everybody has — as they live in a society that’s becoming more and more secular.
My hope is that the synod will be an instrument to provide leadership for the Church and for society on the importance of marriage. From there, I hope we can find what it is that can strengthen the institution of marriage. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but I’m working on it.
When you became the ecclesiastical advisor, you said Legatus had a role in the New Evangelization by reframing the ethics of business. Do you still believe that?
I think Pope Francis is asking us all to recognize the reality that the global economy needs to be evangelized because it’s not just about finances. It’s about life, family, ecology and work — basic issues that belong to the human person — and the Catholic faith can illuminate those issues and kind of humanize and give them supernatural meaning.
Legatus is essential to the New Evangelization as we bring the teachings of Christ to the business world and to leadership in our society. Through Legatus the Church is making a big contribution to the life of our country through the witness of so many people in the business world and in every area of society.
BRIAN FRAGA is Legatus magazine’s editorial assistant.